Surfing is one of the best water sports out there, so if you are getting into the sport, congratulations.
That said, the first thing any new surfer needs is the best surfboard for beginners that you can get. But, knowing what makes a surfboard great can be daunting for anyone just starting out.
While getting advice from your friends is a place to start, you have to remember that any advice you get from an experienced surfer might not be great for beginners.
After all, if they have been surfing for a long time, they might not even remember what it was like to be a beginner, especially if your friends learned as children and you are approaching the sport as an adult.
We have found the top 10 beginner surfboards out on the market and have broken them down by performance and design, to help you find the surfboard that is perfect for you.
10 Best Surfboards For Beginners (2021)
1. Lib Tech Surfboard
2. Solid Surf Co Diamond
3. South Bay Surfboard
4. Catch Surf Odysea
5. Wavestrom Surfboard
6. JJF Pyzel Log
7. Catch Surf Evan Rossell
8. South Bay Guppy
9. Catch Surf Odysea Pro
10. Catch Surf Blank
1. Lib Tech Pickup Stick Surfboard
Best Surfboard For Beginners (Editor's Choice)
Based on our extensive research, we have determined that the best beginner surfboard is the Lib Tech Pickup Stick Surfboard.
This board is a nice middle ground between a longboard and a shortboard, but still has all of the features that a new surfer will need to be successful out on the water.
Starting with its design, the Lib Tech Pickup Stick is a carbon composite material, which has the same kind of flex that you would get from a poly board. It has 5 fins as well, which can help you maintain your direction when you are catching a wave.
The volume of the board ranges from 43.9 to 52.9, depending on the length that you go for. Unfortunately, this is not the ideal volume for a true beginner, because it is less buoyant.
As we mentioned above, this is not a shortboard or a longboard, but instead somewhere in between the two.
The midsize board will work in just about any condition and allow you to catch waves without too much work. This is a nice beginner board, if you have already been out on the water and are looking for a board that can grow with you as your skills progress.
The board will also allow you to hang out on the water if you are having a no wave kind of day. The fins allow you to stay in a plank mode and just cruise on the water.
2. Solid Surf Co Diamond Jig Beginner Surfboard
Some beginners like to have a board that offers high performance surfing options. If that sounds like you, we recommend the Solid Surf Co Diamond Jig as the best surfboard for beginners.
This board has the buoyancy that beginners need while still having other elements that will improve its overall performance.
Starting with its design, the Diamond Jig is made using BIOflex construction, which is an Earth-friendly construction that uses eco-friendly hemp lamination and an epoxy resin core for added strength.
The board has been reinforced with volcanic basalt fibers we well. All of this is a great way of not only using materials that are good for the environment, but also helps keep materials out of a landfill.
The volume on the board is a little low for a new surfer, ranging from 53.7 to 61.6, depending on the size of the board that you get. It isn’t as low as a professional surfboard would be, but it is a little lower than the range that most beginners need to start with.
When we look at the performance for this board, we are starting with is Swiss Army Knife shape.
This is one of the most versatile board shapes, because it provides you with a solid midrange performance. It has a balanced profile and diamond tail that are there to make padding and gliding incredibly easy, which is what any beginner really needs.
You can adjust how many fins that you have on this board as well, which will help you as you grow as a surfer.
3. South Bay Board Co Beginner Surfboard
If you are a beginner, but do not want to spend a ton of money on a board, you are not alone.
When you are just getting into a sport, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to spend a ton of money, which is why we are recommending the South Bay Board Co Premium Beginner Surfboard.
The Premium Beginner Surfboard was specifically made with beginners in mind. The volume of the board is 74L, making it one of the most buoyant types of surfboards that you can get. Beginners need that level of buoyancy to help stay afloat as they work on their skills and learn to balance.
The board was made using bamboo layers on the top and the bottom of the board, which prevents heat damage, including bubbling. There is also a 6 ox resin layer on the top and the bottom to help prevent against impact damage.
When it comes to the performance of the Premium Beginner Surfboard, it is the level that you would expect from a beginner board.
The volume of the board is high, so it has excellent flotation, which is what a beginner really needs. It might not be able to help you master carving or turning in the water, but you will learn balance and how to stay afloat.
Even though this is a beginner board, you can still catch some waves with it. It is a true beginner board.
4. Catch Surf Odysea Surfboard
Another great beginner surfboard is the Catch Surf Odysea Surfboard. This is the kind of surfboard that will grow with you as your abilities improve, meaning that you will not be stuck with a beginning board if you have already progressed to a more advanced board.
Let’s start with the design of the Catch Surf Odysear. This is made using the Tyler Stanaland Signature Model, which is designed after the surfer’s preferences.
The design is intended to allow the board to work with surfers of all abilities, whether they are just getting started or have been at it for awhile.
The board is made with a stiff dual composite core, triple wood stringers, and an old-school PE Deck. This is a throwback design, really bringing back the more classic surfboard look that we all know and love.
This is a great surfboard to start out with for a few reasons, but the fact that the fins are removable shouldn’t be lost on you.
As you grow in your experience and abilities, you might want to adjust the placement of the fins or simple remove the ones that you no longer need. When you have fewer fins to work with, your ability to get around is a lot smoother.
The board is built to give you a lot of float and make it incredibly easy to catch waves, so you can expect to have fun with this one.
5. Wavestorm Beginner Surfboard
The Wavestorm Sunburst surfboard is another good option for new surfers who would like a board that will allow you to stay above the water but still be able to have a fun time.
Starting with its design, the Wavestorm Sunburst board is a high volume board. In fact it has a volume of 86L, which is excellent for new surfers who really need that extra buoyancy to stay afloat.
The board is made out of a soft form, which is how it has so much buoyancy, but that also means that the board is unlikely to last through several seasons for surfing. It really is intended to just get you started in the sport.
The bottom of the board is a polyethylene slick, so that will help to keep it smooth for you.
Moving onto its performance, this surfboard does some with the ability to remove the bolt fins that come with it. That way, if you are learning new skills, you will not be stuck with the board as it is. Instead, you will be able to adjust how it moves and learn to navigate the water better.
This is still a true beginner board, so it will not have a lot of flexibility as far as what you can do with it. The big size and high volume work to keep you afloat and will help with your balance, but remember this is not a pro-level board.
6. JJF by Pyzel Log Surfboard
If you are looking for something less traditional and more modern, check out the JJF by Pyzel Log Surfboard.
This is an incredibly light and durable board that makes beginners have a lot of fun out on the water.
As we mentioned above, the intended design of the JJF board is a little less traditional than some of the other boards that we have looked at.
It has a classic longboard shape to it, but it comes with what the brand calls “Funformance.” This is how they managed to make the board lightweight and durable. It has a nice EVA top layer as well.
The board is made with an epoxy/fiberglass construction, which means that it is durable and nicely sealed. It has a recycled EPS form core as well, which helps it to stay afloat.
When we look at the performance of the JJF by Pyzel surfboard, the first thing to note is that the board’s volume is between 66 L and 81 L, depending on the length that you go with.
Both of these volumes will make the board incredibly buoyant, which is exactly what a new surfer needs to stay afloat and to learn balance.
The board will not grow with your abilities, but if you are just looking for a very casual board that will let you hang out on the water, this board still can work for your needs. It truly is a beginner board, however.
7. Catch Surf Evan Rossell Surfboard
If you are thinking that you would like to have a high wave count as a beginning surfer, you should look at the Catch Surf Odysea Log X Evan Rossell Surfboard.
This is an incredibly fun board that has been built to allow even the newest surfers the ability to catch waves.
Let’s begin with the design of this board. It is a throwback design, which means that it comes with an old school PE deck and really has the appearance of what we have come to think of as traditional surfboards. The board has an 86 L volume, which is ideal for a new surfer who wants to make sure to get enough buoyancy.
The board is made up of a composite, polyethylene, and wood combination, all of which help to keep the board as light as possible while keeping your board durable as well.
Moving onto its performance, this surfboard comes with a high performance fin system. That means that you can adjust the fins and remove them as you need to, in order to give you the level of performance that you really want to have.
It is important to note that because of the large size of this surfboard, it is not easy to manoeuvre at all. The board is made to have a lot of float, which is why it is so easy to catch waves while you are using it.
8. South Bay Board Co Basic Beginner Guppy
If you are trying to help get your child into the sport of surfing, we have the board for you.
The perfect beginner board for kids is the South Bay Board Co Basic Beginner Guppy surfboard. This board is great to learn with and was made specifically to keep kids in mind.
The Guppy board is 8 feet in length with a 80L volume, making it wonderfully buoyant for your child. The board comes in two colours as well: it can be blue or pink, but both are striped and have a bit of a fun look to them.
The Guppy also comes with an 8 foot leash, an easy carry handle, and 3 safe, rounded-edge soft-top surfboard fins. There are fin screws included as well.
The Guppy has a wide chest area as well, which makes it much easier to pop on. There are also 3 inch round rails that help to keep it very buoyant and stable, even when the surf is small.
When we look at the performance for this board, it is important to remember that not only is this a beginner board, but it is a board made for kids.
That means that its high volume level will keep it afloat, but it will not be able to do any kind of quick tricks. It is a soft top board, which is really better for new surfers and not for surfers who already have a lot of experience in the sport.
9. Catch Surf Odysea Pro Surfboard
Another contender for the role as the best beginner surfboard is the Catch Surf Odysea Log X Evan Rossell Pro Surfboard. This board has been adorned in the artwork of Evan Rossell, giving it a more unique look.
Just like we mentioned above, this board features Evan Rossell called “Stink.” Beyond the painting on the board, the board also has a throwback design, which includes a stiff dual composite core and a durable HDPE slick bottom bumper tail.
The board also comes with a high performance fin system that has removable fins. This will let you adjust the fins as you grow in your abilities, but they are intended to use the thruster fin layout. The volume of the board is 72L, which is excellent for a new surfer just getting into the sport.
The performance of this board is what you would really expect from a beginning board. The squash tail style gives you more surface area to work with and the soft rail is what you should really want as well.
The quality of the board is high as well, so you should be able to enjoy a long life with the board.
Since the fins are removable, you will be able to adjust them to suit your needs as a surfer. You should be moving along the smaller waves very easily with this as well, since it is so buoyant.
10. Catch Surf Blank Beginner Surfboard
The last surfboard in the running is the Catch Surf Blank Series Surfboard. This board is intended to ensure that you have a lot of fun out on the water.
When you look at the design for this board, the first thing to note is that it has the classic funboard shape.
This means that you will get the maximum amount of waves from riding this board. The board also uses the old school PE deck, which helps with the durability of the board. It also has a high quality soft top that works with a nice blank-deck look to it.
The board also has a stiff dual composite core, which improves the overall durability of the board. The fin setup with this one is also a thruster fin set, so you should have no issues travelling straight easily. The board also has a triple maple wood stringers and a durable HDPE slick bottom.
The performance of the Catch Surf Black Series is just what a beginner would want to work with. It can easily catch waves, no matter what skill level you are at. The board as a lot of float, so wave catching is not a big ordeal, but instead is simple and a lot of fun.
The board is 7 feet in length, so it isn’t the longest one, but still long enough for you to maintain your balance out on the water.
Factors To Consider When Looking For The Best Beginner Surfboard
Surfboard volume is one of the most important factors when it comes to choosing the best surfboard for beginners.
The volume of the board is what determines how well the board can float. A board that comes with a lot of volume is going to float better than a board with less volume.
Having better flotation is much better to learn on, because your board will keep you upright while you work on your balance.
Surfboard volume is measured using litres. For a beginner, you should be looking for a board that has between 65 and 80 litres of volume, which includes Mini Mal boards, Long Boards, and Soft Top Boards.
This does not include the shortboards that are used by professional surfers. The boards for beginners should also be longer, ranging from 8 feet up to over 9 feet, giving you more surface area to work with.
There is not just one type of surfboard construction. There are a few different options that you will want to consider when you begin your search. These include fiberglass, epoxy, foam, and polyester resin.
- Fiberglass: Fiberglass is one of the most classic types of construction used in surfboard. Normally, these boards have a foam base with a wooden stringer to help with the flex of the board. They are then wrapped in the fiberglass woven cloth and coated in resin. They can be fragile and require care outside of the water. They can crack and don’t ignore a crack when you see one.
- Epoxy: Epoxy surfboards are a great alternative to fiberglass boards. They have an epoxy exterior instead of the more delicate resin. It makes the boards less flexible, but more durable.
- Foam: Foam boards are made with soft foam that will protect you from chaffing and give you a lot more buoyancy to work with.
- Polyester Resin: Poly boards are a little bit stiffer than the epoxy boards but also cost less to get. A lot of pro surfers prefer this coating, because it is cheaper to fix, though less durable than epoxy.
The buoyancy of your surfboard refers to its ability to stay afloat. The buoyancy of a surfboard is related to the volume, which we discussed above.
Boards that have more volume will float better on the water and are therefore a better choice for beginning surfers. Buoyancy is what you need to get speed and learn how to stay afloat, because you can tackle a wave earlier.
The more buoyant boards plane faster and have less drag, making you move easier, which is essential if you are just starting to learn the skills of the sport.
Nose Shape & Tail Shape
The nose shape and the tail shape of the surfboard are good indicators of how well the board will perform when you are padding.
If you think about it, the nose is the first part of the board that will touch oncoming water and pointed noses will reduce the amount of drag that you experience. For beginners, however, you would be better with a rounded nose, because they are more buoyant and make paddling easier than the sharper noses do.
There are a lot of different tail shapes to choose from as well, including pin, round, square, squash, diamond, and fish.
Beginners would be better off sticking with the wider tails, because they help with volume and will give you more lift on a wave. This includes squash, square, and diamond tails. Beginners should avoid the pin or fish tails, because they will not have as much volume.
Surfboards Types & Shapers
These are the largest of the surfboard types and really the best type for a beginner to start with. They are incredibly stable and have a lot of room to walk around on.
This will cruise easily and handle turns smoothly. They are also more voluminous, making them a clear winner, since they will help to keep you afloat while you work on mastering your balance. They run around 9 feet in length.
Midsize Surfboards & Funboards
Midsize surfboards or funboards are another high volume option. They are not as long as the longboards are, so they run between 7 feet and 8.5 feet in length, which is still incredibly long.
You do get more variety in shapes with this one, so you should pay close attention to the nose and the tail of a funboard. They have more manoeuvrability than a longboard does, so they are better for turning.
Hybrid & Fish Surfboards
Hybrid and fish surfboards are shorter than funboards and longboards. They run between 5 and 8 feet in length and are better for manoeuvring smaller waves.
They are generally just a little bit thicker than shortboards. These are a nice option for surfers who like to surf routinely and are confident in their ability, so it might not be the best choice for beginners who have not mastered their balance just yet.
Shortboards are what you are going to see a lot with professional and experienced surfers. The shorter boards made it easier to manoeuvre with speed on the water and tackle the biggest waves.
This makes them a poor choice for beginners who have not yet learned the control of the board or how to ride a wave. If you are a beginner, steer clear from shortboards, even if your friends suggest you start with one.
Does Having Snowboarding Experience Help Beginners With Surfing
A common question that comes up, especially with beginning surfers, is whether snowboarding experience can help you surf.
On the outside, we understand the comparison. Both surfing and snowboarding have a stance where you keep one foot forward. Both use a board to ride. Yet, they are not the same.
Surfing requires you do start down and make your way up to standing while you are already standing on a snowboard.
Regardless, the conditioning required in both sports will certainly help your athletic ability in one or the other. Snowboarding can at least make you used to the position of your feet and balance.
We have found that there are a lot of great surfboards out there for beginners. Regardless, we have still found our winner.
The best surfboard for beginners is the Lib Tech Pickup Stick Surfboard. This is a midsize board that will work in just about any weather condition and give you something that is easy to progress on. It will keep you afloat while you work on your skills.
Of course, some beginners are looking more for a high performance surfboard to start with, which is why we have found that the best high performance beginner surfboard is the Solid Surf Co Diamond Jig Surfboard.
This board has the buoyancy that a new surfer needs, but it also has a tapered profile that makes it more manoeuvrable out on the water.
Before you buy one board over another, consider your needs and expectations. You want a board that you can learn with, so don’t set yourself up with failure by going with what the pros use. Take your time and you’ll find the perfect board for you.